Nick Clegg calls for new garden cities and suburbs

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has made a call for a new generation of garden cities that has been cheered by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Clegg also said that the UK has the smallest new homes in Western Europe and that in the future housebuilders should create light and spacious, flexible homes with lots of private and open spaces.

However, and one can but agree with them, the CPRE say what about building on brownfield land and improving the existing towns and cities.

We do not need Eco-Towns, as were proposed by the previous Labor government, nor do we need these so-called garden cities and suburbs. There are existing towns and cities and homes within them that need improving and greening and there is enough brownfield land in towns and cities that could become parks and gardens.

But, as we can see, it is a case of jobs for the boys, in this case the architects and building companies, such as Wimpy and Barrats, and the like.

The same people who lost out when the Eco-Towns fell by the wayside are now to be getting a little boost, it would appear.

There is no need for any of this building and there is not even any need to build new homes as there are enough empty homes in Britain to house the homeless population of this country several times over, including social housing stock that has been removed even from the empty housing register, such as the Ocean Estate in Stepney.

The destruction of the Robin Hood Estate in Poplar also is not necessary as the people would really love to remain living there, though they might like having the places done up a little.

However, seeing where those housing estates are the land is far too valuable for housing the poorer in society. There is lots of money to be made from the land if can but be sold to developers, which is exactly the fate earmarked for the Robin Hood Estate.

The British government establishment has no interest in the people, and it does not matter which party is “in charge” but only in money that they can get, by way of backhanders, from the people they favor.

RIBA and other groups only think of profit also and talk about of getting the country building again. Refurbishing is also part of building but we toss away homes in the same way that we toss away a supposedly obsolete cell phone or PC.

The throwaway society has even arrived in the housing sector, it would appear, and I have seen several examples of such stupidity over the years now. Such as when in Hackney, some decades past, a large estate of pre-World War Two homes, several thousand of them, and in place of which was built a housing area with just under five hundred homes. No wonder we have a homelessness crisis.

We need no new garden cities and suburbs, we need to green our existing towns and cities.

© 2012